In the Meantime . . .
Much in our lives is ambiguous, uncertain, unresolved, and conflicted. What do we do while waiting for clarity and resolution? Paul advises that we keep awake. Be sober. Wear the breastplate of faith and love and the helmet of the hope of salvation.
The peace that passes understanding doesn’t have to wait for us to have all the answers before it enters our lives. Christ’s peace grows with our faith. The integration of our faith into every nook and cranny of our lives is a lifelong process.
To check your progress in this area ask yourself: How does my prayer, as I pray it, reflect my life as I live it? And conversely, How does my life, as I live it, reflect my prayer as I pray it? Do I root what I bring to God in prayer in the truth of my life and not pious fluff? Am I walking the talk?
Most of us have areas in our lives that evidence discontinuity, lack of congruence or integrity. Such internal conflict may obstruct the full and free movement of grace through us into the world.
Paul admonishes the Thessalonians not to be in the dark about obstructions to grace. He says in effect, “You are Christians. Act like it. Be who you are all the way down to your toes. Don’t let your actions or thoughts cancel or hide the truth of Christ’s power in your life. Quit moping about and feeling sorry for yourself. Get back up on your feet. Live in the light.”
Suggestion for Meditation: In what ways do you sit in the dark? What is your pattern as you wait for Christ to break in to your need? Dare to wait with absolute confidence on your Savior. Be bold to claim God’s power and goodness, even when there is no outward sign of them.
Like us, the Israelites struggle to be consistently faithful to God. God therefore allows a foreign king to rule them until the people come to their senses and cry out for help. The prophet Deborah gives instructions for the battle that will begin the deliverance of the people. The readings from Psalms and Zechariah demonstrate that this pattern of unfaithfulness and restoration has occurred frequently in the history of God’s people. In Thessalonians, Paul echoes what Jesus says in last week’s Gospel reading: We must always be prepared for the return of Christ because we do not know when it will occur. God gives us resources to use for the kingdom, and in Matthew Jesus indicates that God will ask for an account of how well we have used them.
Read Judges 4:1-7. Who has been a judge—someone who helps you discern—in your life? How can you help others discern the way?
Read Psalm 123. How do you focus on God through conflict and struggle?
Read 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11. When have you encouraged someone in a time of darkness? When have you been the one in need of encouragement?
Read Matthew 25:14-30. What would change if you considered your dreams and desires as from God? What first step can you take to enact your desires?
Responda publicando una oración.